While a Facebook page for your unborn baby is still a bit out-of-bounds, it seems creating one for your kindergartner is totally hot right now!
So don't disappoint your children, mom and dad. Let them have a Facebook page -- so what if they can't spell yet? (Sample status update: 'im in tym owt. but momm dint tayk my ifon! lohl") Cause, like, all the kids are doing it.
Right now, 38% of all children (those 18 and younger) on Facebook are under the age of 13, according to a Minor Monitor study. A pretty big number, made even more significant by the fact Facebook does not allow users under 13 to have an account.
Then again, testing boundaries and breaking rules is kind of what kids have always done anyways. Why should things be any different online?
Well, because there's a difference between dribbling a basketball in the living room and plunging into a global social networking site. A difference highlighted by the 56% of parents with young children on Facebook who told Minor Monitor that they're concerned their kids may encounter sexual predators on the site. Other top concerns from the new study were 'sharing too much info' (41% of parents), 'strangers' (45%), and 'cyberbullying' (41%).
All of which is challenging enough for, say, a 10-year-old to navigate. But how about this: The same study found that 4% of all kids on Facebook are in kindergarten! What does a kindergartner even do on Facebook? And who are they going to friend? The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Their dad? Well, yeah, hopefully they do.
Actually, 51% of parents say they keep tabs on their kids' Facebook activities by logging-in to their account. Another 24% say they monitor their use by friending their child. And kids, that's kind of friend request you can't get away with clicking 'Ignore' on.
Overall, 30% teens and children under 18 on Facebook spend an average of two hours a day on the site, according to the 1,000 who Minor Monitor monitored. One-third of them are on Facebook for less than an hour per day.
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But is that already too much time? Nobody wants to hear an "When I was your age..." but seriously, Junior Facebookers, when I was your age I was on the computer only occasionally, played football outside until dinnertime ... and then watched hours and hours and hours of TV. And everyone was happy.
So is it OK for children who still go to sleep clutching a stuffed animal to also be on Facebook? If not, when is the right age? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.